Monday, November 1, 2021

Kenosha residents hope for quick, peaceful resolution to Rittenhouse trial

From TMJ4:

Posted at 6:41 AM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 8:59 AM, Oct 31, 2021

In downtown Kenosha, it's a fairly warm — at least for late October — Saturday night.

Families are trick-or-treating. A man drives by on his motorcycle blasting the theme from Halloween. Local bars and residents are doing good business.

On Monday, at the Kenosha County Courthouse just up the road from the holiday festivities, jury selection will begin in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

It's a reminder of the protests and violence that shook Kenosha last fall. For now, many residents are hopeful it won't happen again, regardless of the trial's outcome.

"We should feel safe about now, and everything should be coming together as it was," said Lybria Philips, who's lived in Kenosha for 14 years.

The protests erupted in August 2020 after police shot and paralyzed local man Jacob Blake.

Shops were looted. Businesses burned.

It was during that time that then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse came to Kenosha with a rifle.

His defense says he traveled from his home in Illinois to protect local businesses.

Prosecutors say he murdered two men and seriously injured another.

Activists have been calling for peace ahead of the trial.

Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, says now is also the time to speak out against the killing in these streets.

"You're going to sit at home. Watch the news. Go to school, you know, your regular agenda. Or you're going to take the time to say, hell no. Not in Kenosha," said Blake.

The small downtown just east of the courtyard seems vibrant, busy.

But many of the shops in a business district known as Uptown — hit hard during the unrest — never bounced back.

Owners of those that remain open told TMJ4 that they're not doing anything differently ahead of the trial.

The town is calm, they say, and they've already lost enough business, so they won't be boarding back up their windows.


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